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History of PLANETS

Although many individual patients with NET have been treated in Southampton over the last few decades, it is only since 2005 that a true multi-disciplinary approach has been applied to this disease, with the creation of a team of dedicated professionals covering all the specialist requirements of the management of NET patients.


The team developed from a small core of specialists working with liver and pancreatic cancers who started to focus their attentions on the sub group of patients with NET. The medical team were inspired to do this by a few outstanding successes for unconventional treatment approaches that we adopted in patients with seemingly very advanced disease (8 years later our first group of patients are all still alive).


Over the same timescale that the NET team has developed, Southampton has become the principal centre for liver and pancreatic cancer treatment in the South outside London, with a catchment population of 3.5 million and 250 major resections are carried out for these cancers each year.


Appointment of first consultant surgeon with interest in NET


First multi-visceral pancreatic resection for primary NET


Appointment of interventional radiologist with interest in NET.


Formation of informal monthly NET meeting between endocrinologists, surgeons, nurse specialist and radiologists to discuss scans and treatment plans


First laparoscopic liver resection for NET


Regional pancreatic centralisation to Southampton drastically increasing referral rates for NET to Southampton


Development of multi-modality treatment concept for primary and secondary NET


First monthly, multi-disciplinary, NET clinic, involving physicians and surgeons


Appointment of laparoscopic colorectal surgeon with interest in NET


Multidisciplinary meeting and clinic increased in frequency to fortnightly to cope with increased demand


Opening of the Southampton NET Tumour bank


First international Fellow in NET / HPB Surgery


Appointment of a third consultant surgeon with NET specialisation


PLANETS charity formed incorporating treatment and research for Pancreatic Liver and NET Cancers.


1st December – PLANETS website goes live


PLANETS patient support group is formed


PLANETS NET nurse specialist appointed


PLANETS Charity surpassed it’s target of £100,000 reaching £121,000 by the end of 2012


New ultrasound scanner is purchased with PLANETS funds (subsidised by the NHS)


PLANETS Charity reached it’s target of £200,000 by the end of 2013


Purchase of a shielded box to assist with our nuclear medicine treatments.


Purchase of a laparoscopic slave stack for theatre 7 giving us a second equipment stack on the opposite side of the patient so that when operating, the surgeon and team can switch sides of the patient easily, improving ergonomics and saving time.


Patient becomes the first Southampton patient to receive PRRT (peptide receptor radionuclide therapy). The equipment for this treatment was jointly funded by UHS and PLANETS.


PLANETS Charity target of £300,000 by the end of 2014 is exceeded.


Outpatient seating is updated to improve patient experience.


PLANETS continued to fund their tumour banks and were able to employ a full-time lab based researcher for preliminary analysis into genetic sequencing (relating to the tumour bank).


PLANETS were able to start funding Jo Tod’s research program in combination with Pancreatic Cancer UK. Preliminary experiments on the genetic make up of the many different tumours in our tumour bank were commenced.


The contracts for a 30 month lease of the IORT (Intra Operative Radiotherapy) machine were completed with a view to start treating patients in 2016.


PLANETS were awarded the Southampton Hospital Charity Star at the Hospital Heroes Awards.


PLANETS announce that the bid by the Southampton, Bournemouth and Portsmouth teams to become an ENETS accredited European centre of excellence was successful making the ‘Wessex NET Group’ one of 25 centres across the whole of Europe who have achieved this level of recognition.


IORT arrives at Southampton and the testing phase begins.


Patient support groups begin in Bournemouth and Portsmouth (in addition to the already established Southampton group)


A Southampton bowel cancer patient becomes the first in the UK to receive radiotherapy during surgery using the IORT machine that PLANETS has funded.  PLANETS expanded their aims to include support and treatment for Oesophageal, Stomach and Colorectal cancers moving forward.


TargetNET, a research study that investigates the molecular, immunological and genetic features associated with neuroendocrine tumour dissemination, progression and response to treatment.  Funding is through research grants held by the investigators, in particular the Southampton NIHR Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre funded by Cancer Research UK and the UK Department of Health, PLANETS and the Robert White fund.

Future Development

Southampton aims to be the leading centre in the UK for management of NET by 2020, our goal is to achieve an international standard of clinical excellence, giving our patients the widest and most advanced range of treatments available. At the same time we will contribute to research through international collaboration, development of the NET tumour bank and publication of our results for multi-modality therapy.

How the money raised is spent

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